Coronavirus 2020: facts and prevention on the alarming disease
03 February 2020
What is Coronavirus, why the public health officials have been alarmed and how can we prevent to get infected? All you need to know in short.
WHAT IS IT?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with MERS and SARS.
TELL ME ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
LATEST: January 31st, 2020
On January 30th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) a public health emergency of international concern. The basis for the raised concern is attributed to the potential for this virus to spread to countries who may not be prepared to deal with on outbreak due to their weaker healthcare system.
Identifying 2019-nCoV as a public health emergency allows the WHO to better coordinate and unify the international response to the virus through its standard operating procedure(s) which may pertain to travel, trade, quarantine and screening. While the WHO has not imposed any specific rule, a number of individual countries have in fact issued warnings and those should be followed by citizens and residents.
On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China associated with a live seafood market. In addition to seafood, this market also sold chickens, bats, marmots and other wild animals.
Cases linked with the outbreak have presented with fever, difficulty breathing and bilateral lung infiltrate on a chest radiograph. This coronavirus cluster was recognized early and as a result, public health officials have had a head start in containment and directed treatment planning, although no targeted treatment is available. People with confirmed novel coronavirus are receiving generic antiviral treatment.
AS A GENERALI MEMBER WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
While this is a rapidly evolving situation, based on the information available, the virus is not considered an epidemic or pandemic and you can rest assured there is no change to your Generali insurance coverage. For members in affected countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised avoiding unprotected contact with live animals, thoroughly cook meat and eggs, and avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCov infection. The most effective way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus. We encourage you to take the following actions to help prevent the spread of the infection.
Adopt Universal Precaution for acute respiratory infections by:
- Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
- Frequent handwashing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
- Avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals;
- Travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
- Stay home when you are sick.
Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. If you develop any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention based on local regulation.
It is important to be arm with up-to-date and accurate information.
- The virus can affect all ages. It appears that older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
- Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.
- There is no specific medication for 2019-nCoV
- There is no evidence that pets at home spread the virus
Additional information can be found on the WHO website at: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.
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